Hungarian Gerbeaud Cake recipe (Zserbó szelet)

Hungarian gerbeaud cake, zserbó

Hungarian Gerbeaud Cake (Zserbó szelet)

is probably the best known Hungarian dessert. I am sure if you hear the name of Hungarian Gerbeaud, you associate with the Café Gerbeaud in heart of Budapest. But to me, this word “Gerbeaud” means this wonderful and delicious homemade layered cake with walnut and apricot jam filling, covered with chocolate. Christmas and Easter is just unimaginable without this excellent cake, I always make it with my Mom.
This dessert was invented by an French confectioner (Emil Gerbeaud) who lived and worked in Hungary.



For the dough:
500 grams (17.6 ounces) of plain flour
250 grams (8.8 ounces) of margarine or butter
25 grams (0.9 ounces) of yeast
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of sugar
100 ml (0.44 cups) of whole milk
Zest of half a lemon
Pinch of salt

For the filling:
150 grams (5.3 ounces) of ground walnuts
50 grams (1.8 ounces) of powdered sugar
400 grams (14.1 ounces) of homemade apricot jam

For the chocolate cover:
100 grams (3.5 ounces) of butter
4 tablespoons of sugar
4 tablespoons of cocoa powder (20-22%)
4 tablespoons of water



In a smaller pan heat milk until lukewarm and dissolve the sugar and the yeast.

In a large bowl mix the flour and the cubed margarine or butter by hand. The mixture will be quite crumbly.

Add the whole egg, 2 egg yolks, the dissolved sugar and yeast mixture, pinch of salt and the lemon zest. Knead thoroughly. Add more flour if necessary.

Divide the dough into 4 balls, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 180°C (355°F). Butter and flour your baking tin. I used a 16×10 inch (40x25cm) pan.

On a floured surface roll out one part of the dough to the size of the baking tin, then lay it in.

Spread one third of the apricot jam on the first layer of dough. Sprinkle with third of the walnut-sugar mixture.

Roll out the second piece of dough. Put the jam on it and sprinkle with walnut-sugar mixture.

Roll out the third piece of dough. Spread the jam on it and sprinkle with walnut-sugar mixture.

Roll out the forth layer and place on top.

Bake the cake for 30 minute, until the top is light-brown. Let it cool completely.

For the chocolate cover: in a smaller pan melt the butter, add 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 4 tablespoons of sugar and 4 tablespoons of water and stir until the sugar melts and the mixture thickens. Cover your cake with the chocolate sauce. The butter will make the chocolate have a glassy elegant look. Cut into diamonds and serve.


20 hozzászólás

  1. Margareta B 2016-05-20 at 04:56 - Reply

    Looks spectacular!

  2. Nina 2016-05-20 at 13:52 - Reply

    What size of pan works best for this recipe? I want to try it, but need to know the size of the pan before I start rolling out the dough

  3. Agnes Barath 2016-05-20 at 14:23 - Reply

    Thanks for the note, Nina, I updated the recipe. I used a 16×10 inch (40×25 cm) pan. Agnes

  4. Susan 2016-05-23 at 21:08 - Reply

    Would love to try this cake,but what type of yeast was used pls.

  5. Agnes Barath 2016-05-24 at 10:22 - Reply

    Hello Susan,
    I used fresh yeast.

  6. Alice 2016-05-27 at 10:51 - Reply

    You have two measurements of ground walnuts for the filling, i.e., 150 grams and 4 tablespoons. Do you mix both of these with the powdered sugar?

  7. Agnes Barath 2016-05-27 at 20:39 - Reply

    Hello Alice,
    You only have to use 150 grams of ground walnuts, I deleted the 4 tablespoons. Thanks!

  8. Arpine Shahdaryan 2016-06-21 at 19:38 - Reply

    Hi there. This looks yummy and im def going to try. Wondering if this is more of a moist cake or somewhat more dry?

  9. Agnes Barath 2016-06-22 at 06:33 - Reply

    Hi Arpine, this cake is not creamy or moist at all. However, it is not dry either if you use the right amount of apricot jam. It is just perfect then. 🙂
    Kind regards,

  10. […] I can’t pronounce it but it is tasty. This lovely pastry looks kind of like baklava but without all the flaky layers of puff pastry. I […]

  11. Paula Rodriguez 2017-03-22 at 00:48 - Reply

    This one is papiler in Hungary. Today hollydas. I will make this one for sure.

  12. Paula Rodriguez 2017-03-22 at 00:49 - Reply

    Just love this one I’m ready to tackle it.

  13. Karen 2017-04-06 at 09:47 - Reply

    Can I use dry yeast for this recipe?

    • Ashley Tóth 2017-06-11 at 15:12 - Reply

      You can. Just use one third the amount required of fresh yeast.

  14. Faye 2017-11-13 at 04:38 - Reply

    The amount of yeast is confusing. I used 2 tsp. wouldn’t 25 grams be much too much. Should it be .25 grams?

    • Barath Agnes 2017-12-14 at 17:55 - Reply

      Hello Faye,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, it is 25 grams. In Hungary the fresh yeast is sold in a 50 g package. For this recipe we use half of that amount.

  15. Amy 2018-05-08 at 01:58 - Reply

    How thick can you roll the dough

    • Barath Agnes 2018-05-16 at 13:23 - Reply

      Hello Amy,
      I used a 16×10 inch (40×25 cm) baking pan. Roll out one part of the dough to the size of the baking tin, then lay it in. It will be perfect then.

  16. Shirley Slezak 2018-05-18 at 19:00 - Reply

    Thank you Agnes. I have been looking for this recipe in English. I live in US-my father was born in Budapest. I am going to make this in his honor. I remember having it when I was a child.

  17. Anita 2018-05-22 at 15:31 - Reply

    I love that you know this is really Gerbeaud.

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